Record Walker Cup win for GB&I

GBI Walker Cup

Great Britain and Ireland defeated the United States of America 16½-9½ to win the 45th Walker Cup Match at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club today and achieve their greatest winning margin in the match since it was first played in 1922.

Leading 7-5 going into the final day, GB&I secured the victory with a dominant final day performance that saw them win the final morning foursomes 3-1 to take a four point lead going into the afternoon singles, where they won a further 6 ½ points.

Captain Nigel Edwards achieved his second win in his three matches in charge after leading the team to victory at Royal Aberdeen in 2011.

England’s Jimmy Mullen, who was GB&I’s leading points-scorer with a perfect 4-0 record, led the team’s afternoon domination of the singles in which they won five, halved three and lost just two matches. England’s Ashley Chesters, at 26, the oldest GB&I player (3½), and Cormac Sharvin of Ireland (3) were the other leading GB&I performers.

Mullen joined Paul Casey and Luke Donald among the small group of GB&I players who have achieved 4-0 records in a single match.

College All-Americans Bryson DeChambeau, the 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA Division I men’s individual champion, and Beau Hossler were the only USA players to win their matches in the final singles. Hossler (3), DeChambeau (2½) and Robby Shelton (2) were the leading point-scorers for the USA.

GB&I has now won five of the last six matches played on home soil, dating back to 1999. The only American win in that stretch was in 2007 at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. With the GB&I victory, the two teams now stand at 7-7 in the 14 matches since 1989. The USA leads the overall series 35-9-1.

Key quotes:

Nigel Edwards:
“I’m delighted with the victory. We had a very strong front and we have strength throughout the team. I said last night to the team that as long as the lads keep doing what they have been doing all week, playing their own games, their short games are fantastic, which is probably what has given us the edge. Some of the bunker shots have been exceptional but also the standard of play here has been fantastic.”

Jimmy Mullen:
“It doesn’t matter if I won all of my games as long as the team won that was the main thing. To win all of my games was just the icing on the cake.”

Ashley Chesters:
“Nigel obviously put me there to get some points early and I have managed to do that for him. I have done it most of the year for England, I did it last year in the St Andrews Trophy for GB&I and I did it for Europe in the Bonallack Trophy so it is the same as that. I have got no problem going out first at all. We have won and it’s great to get the trophy back.”

Cormac Sharvin:
“It feels great. It has just been an unbelievable experience. My golf game has been pretty good as well and it has been nice to get three out of three but as I said before it is a team effort and I’m just glad I could contribute to the win.”

John “Spider” Miller:
“I don’t think we handed them anything. I think they went out and played well, very well, and they won it. I’d feel bad if we were three-putting and giving them holes. I think our guys played well. They just played very well. They outplayed us and earned it.”

For the full results from the match visit www.walkercup.org.

The 2017 Walker Cup Match will be played on 9 and 10 September at Los Angeles Country Club in California.

Team image courtesy R&A.

13/09/2015

GB&I take lead into Walker Cup second day

Great Britain and Ireland took a two point lead into the second day of the 45th Walker Cup match at Royal Lytham & St Annes today

GB&I captain Nigel Edwards said: “We’ll carry on doing what we’re doing and look after ourselves. We won’t worry about anyone else.”

The home team got off to an excellent start in their bid to win back the trophy from the USA, who won the 2013 match at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York, and lead 7-5 after yesterday’s singles and foursomes matches.

GB&I, led by Captain Nigel Edwards, took a 3-1 lead, after the morning foursomes and followed that up by winning three and halving two of the afternoon singles matches.

England’s Jimmy Mullen won both his points while Ashley Chesters was unbeaten, winning his foursomes in partnership with Mullen and halving his singles.

In the morning foursomes, GB&I got off to an excellent start winning three matches to the USA’s one. The English pairing of Chesters and Mullen were never behind in their match with McNealy and Stewart and won 3&2. They were quickly followed by Sharvin and McDonald, who enjoyed an emphatic 5&4 victory over Niebrugge and Shelton.

Hossler and McCarthy put the first point on the board for the USA with a 3&1 result against the Irish pairing of Dunne and Hurley but their compatriots Hume and Moynihan rounded off a good morning for GB&I with a 3&2 win over McCoy and McCoy.

In the opening singles match, Chesters and the 2015 US Amateur Champion Bryson DeChambeau were locked in a close struggle throughout the afternoon with neither having more than a one-hole lead. The 21-year-old DeChambeau, who sat out the morning foursomes, bounced back from losing the 15th hole to go one down by winning the next with a birdie and then bravely holing a 12ft par putt on the last to halve the match.

Afterwards Chesters said: “It was a really good game, there was all sorts going on really but I don’t think anyone was ever any more than one up. I think a half is a pretty fair outcome in the end, neither of us really deserved to lose.”

The USA, led by Captain John “Spider” Miller took the next two matches as Hunter Stewart defeated Ireland’s Paul Dunne by two holes and Scott Harvey overcame Scotland’s Grant Forrest 2&1.

Stewart remarkably holed his 113 yard nine-iron approach for an eagle on the par four 11th hole and then chipped in from the side of the green on the 14th for a birdie three to win both holes. Dunne, the 54-hole joint leader in The Open at St Andrews, responded by holing out from a greenside bunker on the 13th but when his birdie putt lipped out on the 18th his two hole defeat was confirmed.

England’s Jimmy Mullen performed strongly on the back nine, winning three consecutive holes from the 11th, to win his match with Denny McCarthy by two holes and notch up his second point of the day. Ireland’s Gary Hurley and Robby Shelton of the USA halved their match before Beau Hossler clinched a one hole win over Ireland’s Jack Hume.

Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson secured a one hole victory against Maverick McNealy. The 19-year-old sat out the morning foursomes and started in determined fashion to lead by two after four holes. The Scot led throughout the match but McNealy fought back strongly to take the match down the last and force Ferguson to hole a five-foot par putt to complete a one hole win.

GB&I secured another point when Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan defeated Jordan Niebrugge, the winner of the Silver Medal at The Open, by 4&2. The 20-year-old, who played in the 2013 Walker Cup alongside Niebrugge, won the 7th, 8th and 10th holes to take a grip on the match.

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Team GB&I image courtesy RR&A.